Looking for quirky things to see in the city? Wander the picturesque cobbled streets and uncover the mysterious hidden gems of the city’s historic centre.

1.

L’Aître Saint-Maclou

As you walk along Rue Martainville past the Church of Saint-Maclou, keep an eye out for the entrance to the haunting Aître Saint-Maclou. You’ll enter a very strange courtyard – a medieval plague cemetery. With wooden beams carved with skulls, bones, swords and sleeping faces of the dead, it’s a unique site in Europe recalling the devastating black death. Reopening after two years of renovations bringing a new life to this medieval marvel, a range of cultural initiatives are dedicated to arts and crafts of Normandy.

 

L’Aître Saint-Maclou
© L. Williamson

Useful information

L’Aître Saint-Maclou
186 Rue Martainville
76000 Rouen

2.

The Church of Saint-Olav

This church in the Prefecture neighbourhood is rather intriguing. Founded in 1926, it is dedicated to Olav, King of Norway, who according to the legend was baptised in Rouen. Linked to the Lutheran religion, considered a sanctuary and place of comfort, the church was the meeting place for Norwegian sailors who came to Rouen.

 

Useful information

L’église Saint-Olav
16 rue Duguay-Trouin
76000 Rouen

3.

The Rue des Chanoines

As you explore the maze of twisting, narrow lanes with timber-framed buildings which make Rouen so charming, make sure you don’t miss the Rue des Chanoines. Lined with colourful old half-timbered houses, it is arguably one of the best-preserved medieval street in the world and magically transports visitors back to medieval times. This delightful passage was used by ecclesiastical dignitaries a few times a day.

 

Useful information

La Rue des Chanoines
76000 Rouen

4.

Joan of Arc's burning at the stake

Rouen witnessed the tragic demise Saint Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France. Nowadays, her legacy and the legend that surrounds her continues to leave its mark in the city. Did you know you could see the very spot where she was burned at the stake for heresy? Next to the Church of Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc de Rouen is a large cross. According to historians, this is precisely where the torture took place in May 1431.

 

Useful information

Le Bûcher de Jeanne d’Arc
Place du Vieux Marché
76000 Rouen

5.

The house of Ferdinand Marrou

Heard of Ferdinand Marrou? Maybe not, but architecture fans are bound to love this famous French craftsman’s house in Rouen, which boasts spectacular ironwork and intricately carved woodwork.

Useful information

La maison de Ferdinand Marrou
29 rue verte
76000 Rouen

Display map

City break in Rouen

City break in Rouen

Modern architecture in Normandy

Modern architecture in Normandy

Don’t miss:

Things to see and do in Rouen

Heritage and architecture in Normandy